This post continues my leg of the Blogathon for SSA Week! From now until 9pm PDT, I will write one new blog post every hour. Plus, for every $100 raised during that time, I will post one new picture of our cats! And all donations will be matched by SSA Supporters Jeff Hawkins and Janet Strauss — so whatever you donate, it will be doubled!
As of 6:08 pm PDT: 438 Donors, $71,693.02
As of 7:03 pm PDT: 439 Donors, $71,703.02
I’ve been blogging up a storm for the Secular Student Alliance today. So far, I’ve been blogging about mindfulness meditation, cats, songs about cats, atheist organization, cats, atheist songs, secularizing language, cats, tattoos, the Bible, cats, and television.
But except at the beginning of my leg of the Blogathon, I haven’t been blogging that much about the Secular Student Alliance itself, or why I care so passionately about it that I’m willing to devote an entire day to a blogathon fundraiser.
Here’s the deal, in a nutshell.
If you care about the future of the atheist movement, you should support the Secular Student Alliance. The leaders and members of the SSA student organizations are going to be the leaders and members of the atheist movement in the years to come. As JT Eberhard has said: The future president of American Atheists is almost certainly a leader of an SSA group right now. Ditto the future head of the American Humanist Association, the Secular Coalition for America, the Foundation Beyond Belief.
I’ll add to that: The future publicists, development directors, administrative assistants, conference organizers, lobbyists for atheist organizations… they’re almost certainly involved in SSA groups right now. And the future heads of the Omaha atheist group, the Seattle atheist group, the Dallas atheist group, the Charleston atheist group, are almost certainly leaders of SSA groups right now. The future founder of the local atheist groups that don’t exist yet are almost certainly leaders of SSA groups right now. Heck, the future “ordinary atheists on the street” who don’t get super-involved in movement atheism, but who show up for local meetings and stuff envelopes and are out as atheists to their friends and family… they’re almost certainly involved in SSA groups right now. And they will be hitting the ground running, with skills they’re learning right now. If you care about the future of the atheist movement, you should support the Secular Student Alliance.
And if you care about the present of the atheist movement… you should support the Secular Student Alliance. Student organizations are doing a huge amount of the on-the-ground community organizing that everyone in the atheist movement keeps saying we so desperately need. They are creating the social support systems we all say we need, the support systems to help replace the ones people often lose when they leave religion and come out as atheists. They’re doing it for a demographic that is very, very receptive to our ideas — the “under 25” demographic that’s losing its religion at a faster clip than any other, by a huge margin. And they’re doing it now. Not just in the future — now.
I showed you this graph already, didn’t I? Well, I’m showing it to you again.
This is a graph of the number of SSA affiliates over the years. Look at how those numbers are going up, up, up. Look at how they’re rising, not just in colleges and universities, but in high schools (the green tips of the bars). And as high school atheist organizations continue to rise, more students will be hitting college with an arsenal of motivation and organizing skills already in their pockets. What’s more, as high school atheist organizations continue to rise, an entire population of people who never go to college will be entering adult life with that same motivation and those same skills… and carrying them into their communities.
If you care about the future of the atheist movement, you should support the Secular Student Alliance. And if you care about the present of the atheist movement… you should support the Secular Student Alliance.
Every donation makes a difference. Every small amount helps.
Please help now.
If you like this post — or indeed, if you don’t — please donate to the Secular Student Alliance!